Crippling fear of others vomiting

For as long as I can remember, I have been absolutely terrified of other people vomiting. I'm fine vomiting myself, possibly because it rarely happens and when it does it's when I have been drinking and am more relaxed and also it's always in a controlled situation, where I am home and in my own bathroom.

When someone else is sick, there is absolutely no control for me. If someone even tells me their stomach hurts, I start shaking, can't stand close to them, and am looking for the nearest exit and making sure nothing is blocking my path to it. If I hear/see someone throw up, all hell breaks loose. I scream, cry, and run as far away as I can get. In one situation, I was going upstairs and my best friend (who was pregnant) pushed past me to get to the bathroom. She was gagging as she ran by. I ran to the farthest room from the bathroom screaming bloody murder, fell to the fetal position, cried, hyperventilated and rocked back and forth for half an hour, then wouldn't go near her the rest of the day. I flat out avoided her most of her pregnancy because I was so scared. I once even ran out of the house when a boy I was babysitting got sick. I felt like a terrible person leaving this child alone because I was so terrified of him! I had to call my mom to come take care of him. I haven't babysat since.

All I know is I have always felt this way, and don't know why. The first time I can remember was when I was in kindergarten. I was playing one of those 'hand-clapping' games with one of my friends, and she threw up onto my hands/lap. I was only four years old, yet I see the moment in my mind like it was yesterday. Don't know if this is what started it or if it was just the first time it was triggered.

I live every day in fear. When someone has a coughing fit, I jump. When someone rubs their stomach, my brain goes crazy. I avoid crowds, or situations where someone may get sick (carnivals, concerts, etc.) I can't go to the Emergency Room when I'm sick because I am so terrified someone in the waiting room will be sick. I desperately want to be a mother but worry I won't be able to help my child when they are sick. I just don't know what to do anymore. When I see someone get sick, I can't sleep that night. I lay in bed and see it over and over and feel intense anxiety. It's all just too much. My biggest fear is having children and never being able to care for them when they're sick. I have also always wanted to be a NICU nurse (I can handle small babies being sick, it's not the same in my mind!) but I know I can't go through the clinical with adults to become a RN. I feel like this controls my life.

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